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to the object of my reverence. In fulfilling this purpose, I reached the Pavilion without seeing anything; disposed of my affairs there, and hastened down towards the Falls; and found myself actually on the Table Rock, to receive my first impressions.
"Let any one pursue the same course, and he will not talk of first impressions disappointing him; or if he should, then he ought to go twenty miles another way; Niagara was not made for him.
"From the Table Rock I descended to the base.-There I clambered out on the broken rocks, and sat-I know not how long. The day was the least favourable of any we had. The atmosphere was heavy; the foam hung about the object, and concealed one half of it; and the wind blew from the opposite side, and brought the spray upon you so as to wet you exceedingly. The use of cloak or umbrella was troublesome; you could not wholly forget your person, and think only of one thing. However, had I not seen it in this state of the atmosphere I should have wanted some views which now occupy my imagination. The whole is exceedingly solemn when nature frowns; and when much is hidden, while yet the eye has not marked the outline, there is a mysteriousness spread over the object which suits your conception of its greatness, and in which the imagination loves to luxuriate. I can scarcely define to you my impressions on this first day; I can scarcely define them to myself. I was certainly not disappointed; but I was confounded. I felt as though I had received a shock, and required time to right myself again.
"I returned to the Pavilion, which is about half a mile from the Falls, and retired to my chamber, which overlooked them. I mused on what I had seen, and was still confounded. I sought rest, that I might be fresh for the morrow; but rest did not come so freely. The continuous deep sounds of the waters would have sung me to sleep, but the tremor of the house and ground, which shook the window like those of a stage-coach, kept me wakeful; and when I fell into slumbers,
the flitting dreams of what I had seen would trouble and break them.
"Notwithstanding all disturbances, I rose on the next morning in good spirits. The day was all that could be wished. The sun shining, the heavens transparent, garnished with bright and peaceful clouds. The wind, too, was gentle and refreshing; and had shifted to our side, so as to promise the nearest points of sight without the discomfort of getting wet through.
"I now look fairly on the scene as it presented itself at my window, in the fair lights of the morning. It is composed rather of the accompaniments of the Fall than of the Fall itself. You look up the river full ten miles, and it runs in this part from two to three miles in breadth. Here, it has formed in its passage beautiful little bays; and there, it has worked through the slips of main-land, putting out the fragments as so many islets to decorate its surface; while, on either hand, it is bounded by the original forests of pine. At the upper extremity you see the blue waters calmly resting under the more cerulean heavens; while nearer to you it becomes agitated, like a strong man preparing to run a race. It swells, and foams, and recoils, as though it were committed to some desperate issue; and then suddenly contracts its dimensions, as if to gather up all its power for the mighty leap it is about to make. This is all you see here; and it is enough.
"I left the hotel, and went down to the Table Rock; this is usually deemed the great point of sight, and for an upper view it undoubtedly is. It is composed of several ledges of rocks, having different advantages, and projecting as far over the gulf below as they can to be safe. But how shall I describe the objects before me! The mysterious veil which lay heavily yesterday on a large part of it, was now removed, and the outine of the picture was mostly seen. An ordinary picture would have suffered by this; but here the real dimensions are so vast, and so far beyond what the eye has
measured, that to see them is not to fetter, but to assist the imagination. This Fall, which is called the Horse-Shoe Fall, is upwards of two thousand feet in extent, and makes a leap, on an average, of about 160 feet. Now, just enlarge your conceptions to these surprising dimensions, and suppose yourself to be recumbent on the projecting rock which I have named, as near the verge as you dare, and I will assist you to look at the objects as they present themselves.
"You see not now above the cataract the bed of the river, but you still see the foaming heads of the rapids, like waves of the ocean, hurrying to the precipice; and over them the light clouds which float on the horizon. Then comes the chute itself. It is not in the form of the Horse-Shoe; it is not composed of either circular or straight lines; but it partakes of both; and throughout it is marked by projections and indentations, which give an amazing variety of form and aspect. With all this variety it is one. It has all the power which is derived from unity, and none of the stiffness which belongs to uniformity. There it falls in one dense awful mass of green waters, unbroken and resistless ; here it is broken into drops, and falls like a sea of diamonds sparkling in the sun. Now, it shoots forth like rockets in endless succession; and now, it is so light and foaming that it dances in the sun as it goes; and before it has reached the pool, it is driven up again by the ascending currents of air. Then there is the deep expanding pool below.-Where the waters pitch, all is agitation and foam, so that the foot of the Fall is never seen; and beyond it and away, the waters spread themselves out like a rippling sea of liquid alabaster. This last feature is perfectly unique, and you would think nothing could add to its exquisite loveliness; but there lies on it, as if they were made for each other, "heaven's own bow." Oh, never had it, in heaven itself, so fair a restingplace!
"Besides, by reason of the different degrees of rarity in the waters and the atmosphere, the sun is pervading the whole scene with unwonted lights and hues. And the foam
which is flying off in all directions, is insensibly condensed, and forms a pillar of cloud, which moves over the scene, as it once did over the tents of Israel, and apparently by the same bidding, giving amazing variety, sublimity, and unearthliness to the picture. Then there is sound as well as sight; but what sound! it is not like the sea; nor like the thunder; nor like anything I have heard. There is no roar, no rattle; nothing sharp or angry in its tones; it is deep, awful, one! Well, as soon as I could disengage myself from this spot, I descended to the bed of the Fall. I am never satisfied with any Fall till I have availed myself of the very lowest standing it supplies it is there usually that you become susceptible of its utmost power. I scrambled, therefore, over the dislocated rocks, and put myself as near as possible to the object which I wished to absorb me. I was not disappointed.
"There were now fewer objects in the picture, but what you saw had greater prominence and power over you. Everything ordinary foliage, trees, hills was shut out; the smaller attributes of the Fall were also excluded; and I was left alone with its own greatness. At my feet the waters were creaming, swelling, and dashing away, as if in terror, from the scene of conflict, at the rate of twenty miles an hour. Above and overhanging me was the Table Rock, with its majestic form, and dark and livid colours, threatening to crush one. While immediately before me was spread in all its height and majesty-not in parts, but as a whole, beyond what the eye could embrace-the unspeakable cataract itself: with its head now touching the horizon, and seeming to fall direct from heaven, and rushing to the earth with a weight and voice which made the rocks beneath and around me fearfully to tremble. Over this scene the cloud of foam mysteriously moved, rising upward, so as to spread itself partly on the face of the Fall, and partly on the face of the sky: while over all were seen the beautiful and soft colours of the rainbow, forming almost an entire circle, and crowning But it is in vain. The power, the
it with celestial glory.
But it is in vain.
sublimity, the beauty, the bliss of that spot, of that hourit cannot be told.
"When fairly exhausted by intensity of feeling, I strolled away towards the ferry, to pass over to the American side. The Falls here, from the distance, have a plain and uniform aspect but this wholly disappears on approaching them. They are exceedingly fine. They do not subdue you as on the Canada side; but they fill you with a solemn and delightful sense of their grandeur and beauty. The character of the one is beautiful, inclining to the sublime; and that of the other, the sublime, inclining to the beautiful. There is a single slip of the Fall on this side, which, in any other situation, would be regarded as a most noble cataract. It falls nearly 200 feet; it is full twenty feet wide at the point of fall, and spreads itself like a fan in falling, so as to strike on a line of some fifty or sixty feet. It has great power and beauty.
"I found that there was a small ledge of rock behind this Fall, and ventured on it to about the centre. You can stand here without getting at all wet; the waters shoot out several feet before you; and, if you have nerve, it is entirely safe. I need not say that the novelty and beauty of the situation amply reward you. You are behind the sheet of water, and the sun is shining on its face, illuminating the whole body with a variety proportioned to its density. Here, before you, the heavy waters fall in unbroken columns of bright green. There, they flow down like a shower of massy crystals, radiant with light, and emitting as they fall all the prismatic colours; while there, again, they are so broken and divided as to resemble a shower of gems sparkling in the light, and shooting across the blue heavens.
"I passed by what is called Goat Island to the extremity of the Horse-Shoe Fall on this side. There is carried out over the head of this Fall a limb of timber, with a hand-rail to it. It projects some twelve feet over the abyss, and is meant to supply the place of the Table Rock on the other side. It does so in a great measure; and as, while it is quite